Ryan Gosling has always been one to go a little against the grain. He could have easily been leading big studio tentpoles at multiple points in his career, but time and time again he’s opted instead to take challenging roles in films like Lars and the Real Girl, Blue Valentine, and Drive. Most recently, Gosling took things even further by setting out to make his directorial debut on an ambitious film called Lost River. Possibly due to their relationship with the actor on Gangster Squad and Crazy, Stupid, Love., Warner Bros. agreed to distribute the offbeat film, which was admittedly a bit out of character for the studio given its propensity for shepherding larger-scale films.
Well now the studio appears to be rethinking its decision, as the strongly negative response to Lost River at the Cannes Film Festival has the studio looking to sell the project to an indie distributor. Hit the jump for more.
Gosling’s film was one of the more anticipated premieres at the Cannes Film Festival, but response to the pic’s screening a few days ago was disappointing to say the least. Cannes has a bit of a reputation for overreacting negatively to some of the premieres (remember when Inglorious Basterds was just “OK”?) and not every review for Lost River was negative, but the naysayers were quite loud and have shrouded the pic in bad buzz.
As a result, Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. is talking to indie distributors about possibly selling the film to a specialty studio and letting them handle the film’s distribution. This isn’t an altogether surprising move—“small” movies for Warner Bros. are more in line with Her and Argo than a movie like Lost River—and it actually might end up benefiting Gosling’s film in the long run. Boutique distributors have experience selling challenging or “weird” films to the masses, and one imagines Lost River might get the special care it deserves with a studio like A24 Films or Fox Searchlight.
There’s no word yet on what specific studios Warner Bros. is speaking with, but I’m curious to see where the film ends up. Regardless of the Cannes response, I’m still looking forward to seeing what Gosling has put together with Lost River.